Sunday, October 02, 2011

Thoughts for this Sunday's Gospel

Again with the vineyard!  Two weeks ago it was about the vineyard owner's generosity in paying full day's wages to those who hadn't worked a full day.  Last week it was about his sons, one a whiner who ends up doing what he's told, and the other a sweet-talker who tells you what you want to hear but doesn't carry through.

This Sunday's readings give us our last glimpse into this vineyard, and we go out in style:  Isaiah gives us his friend's vineyard song, Psalm 80 is our Responsorial Psalm (all about a vine), and the Gospel tells about nasty vineyard tenant farmers who refuse to give the owner what he's owed from the harvest.

In the parable, Jesus makes a point of mentioning 3 attributes of the vineyard:
  • A hedge, which was almost always a thick thorn bush, deliberately chosen to keep out animals and discourage human thieves.
  • A winepress, used to crush the grapes and get the juice.
  • A watchtower, which not only gave a view to see any thieves approaching, but was a place to house workers.
Those details jumped out at me this weekend.  They're not really necessary for the point of the parable to be made, and yet we're told about them.  Let's focus on them:

The hedge.  From what has God been protecting us?

The winepress.  What has stubbornness done to us?  What does God have to "squeeze" out of us in order to obtain?

The tower.  Perspective changes everything.  What would we have done differently in our lives, had we seen it from another point of view?

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